Photo: Swordfish (Harpoon)

The 'sword' of the swordfish is a marvel of natural selection. The long, flattened sword combined with the swordfish's streamlined body is a perfectly adapted combination for slashing through schools of prey. While swordfish stocks appear to have recovered, they are often caught in ways that harm other species like turtles and sharks.

Ask for:

Swordfish from Canada and the U.S. that is harpoon or handline caught.


Although harpoon/handline gears are sustainable in Canada, avoid swordfish caught by harpoon/handline, or any method, from the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, International Atlantic, and International Pacific as the stocks in these regions are of concern and management is not as good as it is in Canada.

Cooking & nutrition:

This distinct and meaty fish has a silvery blue skin with a sword-like snout. Sophisticated in taste, swordfish can be prepared in under 15 minutes using simple flavours to accentuate its unique flavor. Swordfish should be enjoyed in moderation, especially for women and children, as it is higher in mercury.


The harpoon fishery has been a sustainable part of coastal communities for many generations. This selective fishery also prides itself on a higher quality of catch due to the careful handling of the swordfish, which helps preserve their flavor. Consumers should ask for harpoon caught swordfish to ensure their seafood is a best choice and not from a red-listed longline fishery.

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